This year, we had a Fear of Missing Out. Next year, according to the trend-watchers at marketing agency JWT, we’re going to miss out on everything — and we’re going to like it. Starting January 1st, there will be no Instagramming that party your Facebook friend Twitter-invited you to just to show you were there. No one will care that you are the Mayor of your local very exclusive wine bar on Foursquare. In 2014, we will not bail on Dinner #1 just in case Dinner #2 might be better. (Dinner #2 is never better.) This year, JWT predicts optimistically, we’re all going to embrace JOMO — the joy of missing out.
It’s a natural development, JWT’s director of trend-spotting Ann Mack told the Daily Mail. Mack cites the Slow Food Movement, the advent of digital detox camps, and the popularity of all things Zen as some factors responsible for the end of competitive socializing. Tech blogger Anil Dash, who first coined “JOMO” last year, wrote about discovering the ecstasy of not following who ate what where and with whom when he unplugged for a month in 2011 after the birth of his son. “I wasn’t missing anything,” he said. I feel pretty ahead of the curve on this one: I have been getting dressed for parties and bailing before I hit the subway since at least 2009.
According to Mack, JOMO is about “enjoying what you’re doing in the here and now and not [being] on social media broadcasting or seeing what everybody else is doing.” What you’re doing, in other words, is enough, even if other people are maybe having more fun than you somewhere, and posting about it on social media later. In 2014, people are still totally going to be having more fun than you — it’s just that, this year, you’re going to be too busy meditating while eating your unpasteurized yogurt to care about it. As Dash put it, “There can be, and should be, a blissful, serene enjoyment in knowing, and celebrating, that there are folks out there having the time of their life at something that you might have loved [too], but are simply skipping.”
At least, that’s the idea. The same report that ushers forth the JOMO era also predicts — safely — that the “on-demand economy will churn away in 2014.” But maybe we can have it both ways. “Over the past several years we’ve let technology rule us and now we’re ready to rule it and find a balance in our lives because we realize technology is here to stay,” Mack says. That’s good. I am absolutely in favor of balance, as long as someone is reading my tweets.
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